By Sgt. 1st Class Jim GreenhillMarch 7, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. (3/7/13) -- Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush will be the next senior enlisted advisor to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Army Gen. Frank Grass announced Wednesday.
Brush, currently the Montana Air National Guard's state command chief, will be the Bureau's fourth senior enlisted advisor, replacing Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall. She retires in June after three years serving in the highest position ever held by an enlisted woman in the U.S. armed forces.
The senior enlisted advisor advises Grass, who is also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on all enlisted matters affecting the force, such as training, health and enlisted professional development.
"I'm honored to have this opportunity to represent the enlisted force," Brush said. "There is much that people are unaware of about the sacrifices that our Guard members make every single day: We are police officers, plumbers and teachers in our communities who make a seamless transition to Soldiers and Airmen when our states, territories or nation call."
Prior to assuming his current position in Montana, Brush served as 1st Air Force command chief at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. A true Citizen-Airman, Brush has served as an officer in the City of Billings Police Department for more than 21 years.
He enlisted in February 1987, serving six years with Air Force security forces on the active-duty side before taking a break in service to pursue his civilian police career. He re-enlisted in the Montana Air National Guard after an 18-month break, again serving with security forces.
"We were fortunate to have a number of extremely qualified candidates," Grass said. "It speaks to the excellence and professionalism of our senior enlisted leaders in the states and territories. Chief Brush is going to provide outstanding advice at a critical time when we face fiscal constraints and changing missions.
"He also joins us at a crucial moment as we restructure the National Guard Bureau," Grass added. "It is important we continue to meet the enhanced responsibilities given us as a direct result of the performance of our Guard members since the Sept. 11 attacks."
Brush is married. His wife, Blaire, and he have three sons, Davis, Parker and Cooper.
"My family's been very supportive and they too bring a perspective as a Guard family that hopefully will benefit the enlisted force," Brush said. "All Guard families sacrifice so that our Citizen-Soldiers and --Airmen can perform their double duties as civilians and service members."
Chief Brush said he is looking forward to starting his new position in May and ensuring America's investment in the National Guard continues to pay dividends.
"One of my concerns as we work through sequestration is that we make deliberate, well-thought-out changes to our force, not lose the best and the brightest and not hollow out the force," he said. "It is critical that we not lose the extraordinary professionalism and capabilities that the National Guard has achieved in more than a decade of contributing to our nation's warfight."
Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Leonard was the first senior enlisted advisor. He was followed by Army Command Sgt. Maj. David Hudson, who served until Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall became the third advisor and the first drawn from the Air National Guard.